A few days ago while riding on the road that goes through the Goodwill in Lawrenceville a short school bus passed me so close that the mirror was inches from my head. There was plenty of room to swing around but the driver buzzed me anyway. After passing me the driver pretty much blew the stop sign at the end of the road then crossed 51st Street to use the little alley that goes between 51st and 50th. She went into the alley quickly and almost had a head on collision with a car that was already coming through the alley from 50th street.
Well since this is not the first time this bus driver has passed me too close and has almost hit someone(including me) in the alley I decided to get the number from the bus and go a few blocks over to pay a visit to Monark bus company. I entered the building and explained to the secretary what had happened. She instantly said she couldn’t handle that situation and called for the supervisor. He came out and quickly said he had a meeting to get to. I told him I would not be leaving and would be calling the police if this issue didn’t get handled right away. Mind you I’m sweating and standing in their office with my bike.
The supervisor thought about it for a second and then asked me to step into his office. He took my info and bus number, he also told me that this isnt the first time there has been a complaint about this driver. I was told that he would talk to her and resolve this. In my head I’m thinking “yeah right, better not hold my breath”. I said thank you for the help and went on with my day expecting to never hear anything from the bus company again.
Well to my surprise this morning I get a call from the supervisor. He called to tell me the driver in question was warned about her driving, taken off that route, suspended and will be sent for retraining. He also told me he warned all the drivers not to use the alley way in question.
Needless to say I am happy and really shocked. Big thumbs up for the supervisor at Monark for handling what could turn out to be a deadly situation and didn’t just pass the buck or give me a line of BS like the Hilton did when i called them about a van driver that got very verbal with me at a stop sign a few years back.
So if anyone that rides through the back roads of lawrenceville has a bus bullying them around don’t be afraid to go to the Monark office and talk to the supervisor named paul. He was very help full.
I had a similarly good follow-up from Frank B Furer Beer distributor on the South Side a year or so ago when I had trouble with one of their trucks.
Now if only we could get PAT serious about safety.
This is great!
The driver should be glad she didn’t lose her job, as that could have been another outcome.
The name of the bus company was on the side of the bus, along with the number. I got a very close and uncomfortable look at it in the alleyway I talked about above a few times in recent months. Oh and the bus yard is a few blocks away at the end of Mccandless ave.
One other thing the supervisor told me is if a driver gets ticketed while driving a bus they will be fired right away.
I may be one of the people that complained about her. I have no clue if it’s the same driver, but i’ve called and complained about a driver driving like an ass thru the neighborhood, running stop signs, and nearly hitting me as well.
Nice work Willie.
I too would re-evaluate my immediate plans if you were standing in my foyer looking angry.
Thanks for your perseverance, Willie. “Small wins” like these add up.
“get a ticket and get fired” look at the insane
stuff you see everyday. Pittsburgh is like a
scene from beyond thunderdome. You would
seriously have to drive like you were on fire to
get pulled over.
PS I freaking hate those buses. RL koeneig drives me freaking insane.
@steevo my thoughts exactly. when is the last time a pittsburgh cop wrote someone up for a traffic infraction that wasn’t just because they needed probable cause and couldn’t cite someone for something worse?
When I was a messenger I literally saw 2 of the
rl koenig buses drag racing up smallman street
at 17,18th,19th where it is kind of 4 lanes.
And they ALWAYS pass super closely
@ Steevo “get a ticket and get fired” look at the insane stuff you see everyday. Pittsburgh is like a scene from beyond thunderdome.
Yeah, at first I thought “one and done” was a bit harsh, but it’s not like the Pittsburgh Police are ticketing folks for going 3 mph through a stop sign.
If the other bus companies have similar policies, the totally obnoxious shuttle buses would likely clean their acts with very moderate ticketing -as long as it is greater than the no-ticketing policy that seems to be in place now.
I was on a PAT bus that got pulled over by a cop once, it was a 61C. They regularly screamed down the hill on Forbes between Schenley and Maggie Mo, I overheard the cop saying something like he was going over 45. He didn’t ticket the driver, but he did explain that he was going to sit there at the appropriate time and watch and wait for a second transgression that he would not forgive (I rode it regularly, the cop car was there for a few weeks off and on). That WAS about 15 years ago, but cops do watch the buses. Maybe one of those angry Squirrel Hill residents that hate traffic so much called and complained.
I know that not all bus drivers are aweseome people (though many are), but it can’t be easy to be pressed to run on time when it is completely beyond your control how fast customers and traffic allow you to move.
Really glad you took the effort to make a difference, Willie. thank you!
Well my girlfriend and I almost got hit again by a bus from monark in the little alley between 50th and 51st. I went to the bus company in person again like I did last time. I was told last time by the supervisor that the buses would no longer be allowed to drive through there. Well this time the helpful supervisor was off and I received a shitty attitude from the guy filling in. Pretty much he made like i was overacting about almost kissing the hood of a bus.
So I came home and looked up the number for monarks corporate headquarters.
I told them what was up and they transferred me to the complaint department. Spoke with the guy there and he is now gonna bring this issue about the buses going through this alley up to the safety team. I was told the safety team would be contacting me. I am hoping to get them to come out and look at the spot in question and hopefully do something before someone gets hit there.
Here is the number to monarks corporate headquarters 724-898-3563. If anyone else has had a problem with a bus over there or just thinks its unsafe to allow them to drive through a area like that please give them a ring and let them know.
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